Mass Effect: Andromeda takes place in an entirely different galaxy, very distant and different from our own, that will take centuries of intergalactic travel to reach. Yet the latest update to BioWare's Andromeda Initiative website suggests that in spite of that great distance, humanity's new home won't be all that terribly different from the one we left behind.
That's thanks primarily to the Nexus, a "smaller, streamlined space station" inspired by the Citadel of the original trilogy. It will accompany the four Ark ships on the journey to Andromeda, carrying its own contingent of officials, engineers, traders, and security personnel. Once the Nexus and Arks rendezvous in the Helios Cluster, construction of the Nexus will be completed, turning it into a Citadel-like home for the colonists prior to their departure to new worlds.
The Nexus will have everything from an archive containing the combined history of the Milky Way's species to the Vortex Lounge, which provides patrons with "any desired off-duty indulgences." Naturally, there will also be security and operations centers, a Pathfinder HQ, and a "state-of-the-art science lab," where players can "investigate their discoveries as they begin to unlock the secrets of this new galaxy." A real home-away-from-home, in other words.
The update also provides a closer look at Avina, the "virtual intelligence resource" that helped us find our way around the Citadel during the first trilogy, the Ark Hyperion colony ship, Nexus leadership structure (including a female Krogan as the Nexus Superintendent), and the new ODSY drive system that makes the trip possible.
Mass Effect: Andromeda doesn't have a hard release date yet, but with BioWare cranking up the infodumps—we got our first real look at Andromeda gameplay last night—you know it has to be close. The current plan is to have it out in the spring of next year.